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Edinburgh Neighborhoods to Avoid Living In

Edinburgh Neighborhoods to Avoid Living In

Scotland’s picturesque capital, our beloved Edinburgh is a charming city with a rich history woven through each cobblestone and stunning architecture. While the majority of Edinburgh is a safe and welcoming city, there are some no-go zones that warrant caution.

In this article, we list some of Edinburgh’s neighborhoods to avoid living in along with practical insights and tips to help you make an informed decision about where to stay whilst enjoying what this beautiful city has to offer.


Niddrie has had a poor reputation since the 1970s because of its inadequate publicly-funded facilities along with crimes of dishonesty and violence.

According to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) data, Niddrie is ranked as the most deprived area in terms of income, employment, and education. This places Niddrie in the top 10% most deprived areas or 1st decile.

On the bright side, Niddrie is about only 20 minutes away from the City Centre via bus. So if you do end up at this side of the city, the silver lining is that you’re not too far from the City Centre.


Muirhouse is a public housing estate established in 1953 and is currently home to around 5,000 residents, many of whom are beneficiaries of social housing assistance.

While the area does experience occasional petty crime, the situation has improved over time. However, one downside is the condition of the roads, which may deter long-term residents who own vehicles due to the need for maintenance.

On a positive note, Muirhouse is well-connected in terms of public transportation, with several bus routes providing easy access to and from the area. However, it’s a tad inconvenient that bus services may be less frequent during late-night hours.


Another area in Edinburgh that could use a little more TLC is Craigmillar. While there are instances of violence, dishonest crimes, and disorderly conduct, to be fair, Craigmillar’s reputation is far worse than the reality most experience here.

If you consider living in Craigmillar, it’s important to note that the area lacks facilities and leisure spots, like restaurants and bars. Hence, options for local entertainment are limited.

Having said that, traveling to Edinburgh’s City Centre will prove to be challenging. Since Craigmillar is situated at the outskirts of Edinburgh, there is limited and less frequent public transportation.


Sighthill is unfortunately known for being one of the less desirable places to live due to the presence of notorious gangs. As a result, the area frequently experiences disputes, attacks, and thefts, making it a challenging environment for residents.

In addition, Sighthill is quite far from the City Centre, making travel to other parts of Edinburgh rather challenging. While public transit is available through the trams and trains which can become quite noisy.


A well-known tourist destination, Grassmarket has visitors and activities throughout the day and into the night everyday. From early morning tours to late night bar shenanigans, there’s always something happening in the streets of Grassmarket.

Having said that, while living here definitely guarantees excitement and fun, it also means that there’ll rarely be any peace and quiet. Thus, making Grassmarket a poor choice for long-term residency if you’re looking for a more relaxed setting. 

Because of Grassmarket’s popularity among tourists, the cost of living has become quite steep, making it rather expensive for local standards.


It’s important to note that while Gilmerton experiences crime and disorder, the Southern region generally fares better than the North.

In recent years, Gilmerton has seen an increase of crimes related to violence and dishonesty, which is definitely alarming considering these account for more than half of the area’s entire reported incidents.

Hence, Gilmerton isn’t an ideal place to settle down in, especially if you have children. 

Leith Walk

Leith Walk is one of Edinburgh’s longest streets lined with great shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and the like. Hence, it’s frequented by locals and tourists alike so it’s always busy in this area. 

Leith Walk is also a major road that accommodates various vehicles, which adds to the hustle and bustle the area already experiences on a daily basis. So if peacefulness is a priority for you then Leith Walk may be a poor choice.

On the bright side, there isn’t a shortage of things to see and do in the area, so you’ll never be bored. However, its popularity makes it a prime location, so don’t be surprised to see higher prices, so be prepared for a steep cost of living.


The Meadows is a vibrant area that’s  home to several schools (row 67 – private schools edinburgh), university campuses, major streets, and shopping centres. As a result, this lively and busy atmosphere has turned it into a busy hive of activity.

However, having such a large population also means that it can get rather crowded at shops, parking lots, and outdoor spaces. This is especially true during tourist season, festivals and school events. 

Royal Mile

Another tourist destination, the Royal Mile is connected to the Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse, among other frequented places. This 1.81 km-long stretch is filled with shops and attractions that bring in a crowd day in and out.

Hence, living by the Royal Mile can be challenging if you don’t like crowds, noise, rowdiness, and the hefty price tags of nearby establishments. 

On the bright side, you’ll get to enjoy award-winning attractions and stunning panoramic views daily if you decide to live here. 

Wester Hailes

Wester Hailes is one of Edinburgh’s less desirable areas because of the high levels of crime, drug, and alcohol problems. Thus, making it the last place you’d like to live in, especially if you have children.

Unfortunately, Wester Hailes is also a socially deprived area with poor infrastructure and public transportation. Thus, it’ll be difficult for residents to access essential services and travel, further impacting the quality of life in the area.

Data from the SIMD revealed that it ranks 1st as the most deprived area in terms of income, employment, and health. Sadly, this places Wester Hailes in the top 10% most deprived areas.

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